The scientific tourist #209 — scarification in stone

Standards of beauty are definitely a culturally-defined thing — and today’s image is just one example of that:


This is a sculpture on display in Mérida’s Museum of Anthropology and History, in Yucatán, Mexico. Found in the Maya ruins of Kabah, it depicts an elite individual with induced facial scarring for beautification; a feathered headdress tops off what was undoubtedly a fierce and eye-catching look for him.

An individual with similar facial features appears on carvings at other structures in the Puuc region of the Yucatán; either this was a very popular style, or else this individual was well known over a fairly large area at the time (late 10th century).

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